March 13, 2014

Authenticity in Leadership

When someone buys a product we first check to see whether it fulfils our quality standard and we use it to see if it’s a product we can rely on i.e. ‘it does what it says it can do without doing otherwise’. This is what I would like to describe as authenticity in leadership.


A leader wants to be perceived by his followers as authentic. Followers tend to lack trust in their leader when they perceive all his act is a façade. From my little knowledge, I believe in organisations today , most followers are being betrayed by their leaders, it’s so hard to give respect so much to someone only to find out one has been sleeping under a burning roof. This tends to affects the productivity of followers because why would I work for someone I can’t trust at the end of the day. Effectiveness is all about also being authentic as a leader and Authenticity leads to integrity in leadership. Reflecting on the Enron business and its scandal I just thought that an organisation can have all the best processes in the world, but the personal integrity of the individuals and the leaders in the business is the key I guess this was what led to the fall of Enron. I believe that GE was able to achieve greatness because of the authenticity of their leader and CEO Jack welch. He was the kind of leader who wasn’t afraid to show who he was and what he wants for GE and pursuing those interest by all means by being true to his followers. If a leader isn’t authentic enough not only does he loses the trust of his followers but his whole vision and purpose in his leadership role seems pointless.


- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Shujaat Alikhan

    I agree, it’s unfortunate but true that the initial phase of leadership is naturally met with skepticism, since it is so common for people to first distrust and be skeptical about an individual before trusting them. Although there are plenty of literature debating over this, I just tend to accept it.

    After accepting that it’s inherent, I believe it’s best to try to win the hearts of the people who are distrusting you (in this case, your subordinates) and immediately show them your ‘authenticity’. And I think there’s no other way than simply ‘walking the talk’ and letting them know that you legitimately care for their well-being not just your own.

    Of course, all this is only possible if the leader his/herself accepts this type of authentic leadership at first.

    15 Mar 2014, 11:15

  2. yes jaat its true and I agree with you because we are all humans afterall and our humanly nature would always take it course, but even if people distrust us upon initial contact, we shouldn’t give them a justifiable reason to continue to do so by merely playing along. Thanks!

    15 Mar 2014, 17:47


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